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Question DetailsAsked on 5/10/2017

Whirlpool gas water tank appears to go out after hours or days not sure just when noticed.

N40S61-403...there is no screen on bottom to clean out this model has honeywell valve operates normally but eventually quits after a day 5 hours or when noticed .. is it best to buy lowes manifold door kit to change out the thermocouple? Could it be the gas valve irself?

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3 Answers


You can find previous questions about why a gas appliance will go out after some hours of running OK - check in the Home > Plumbing link under Browse Projects at lower left.

Since it is running many hours to days, I would doubt the gas valve is at fault - I would be looking at drafting causing a fluctuating flame which is tripping out an overheat or flame rollout sensor - but only if your model's sensors are self-resetting so they allow the unit to operate again after it cools off. Some are not, probably most are self resetting.

Or rust accumulation on top of the burner or pilot flame causing a sensor trigger or cooling the pilot flame enough that when there is a slight gust of draft it cools the thermocouple/thermopile enough to make it go out. A thermocouple/thermopile not centered or high enough in the flame can do this to - operate marginally normally but when there is a draft through the firebox the pilot flame can waver enough to allow the thermocouple ot cool down to the point it shuts off the gas, thinking the pilot flame has gone out.

If your model has a thermopile rather than a thermocouple (could not readily find a parts diagram - that model number appears to be a store model [special number or Lowes or Home Depot or such], not a standard Whirlpool model number) then sometimes as they go bad they will operate the gas valve intermittently as they lose voltage output capacity.

For flame out situations (or failure of pilot light to stay lit when lighting) a thermocouple or thermopile failure is a common first thing to check - thermocouples only cost around $10 so no big thing to replace that (I recommend Honeywells for best relaibility). Thermopiles can run more in the $30-100 range (retail - up to about double that through repairman on site) so might be a bit more of a decision in whether to replace that to see if that is the cause. Though if so would save the cost of a plumber visit at probably $100+, so unless heater is over say 7-8 years old (yours appears to be 6 year design life) it might well be worth trying it and if not the cause uyou have a spare thermopile ready to use when needed.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD



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Answered 3 years ago by Member Services


N40S61-403 model is still listed on the lowes website

for $35, I am no expert, but with help from experts here, you may be able to replace the whole gambit with the link below.. ???

Answered 3 years ago by gyaznomi

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